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The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015

Author

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  • Òscar Jordà
  • Katharina Knoll
  • Dmitry Kuvshinov
  • Moritz Schularick
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

This paper answers fundamental questions that have preoccupied modern economic thought since the 18th century. What is the aggregate real rate of return in the economy? Is it higher than the growth rate of the economy and, if so, by how much? Is there a tendency for returns to fall in the long-run? Which particular assets have the highest long-run returns? We answer these questions on the basis of a new and comprehensive dataset for all major asset classes, including?for the first time?total returns to the largest, but oft ignored, component of household wealth, housing. The annual data on total returns for equity, housing, bonds, and bills cover 16 advanced economies from 1870 to 2015, and our new evidence reveals many new insights and puzzles.

Suggested Citation

  • Òscar Jordà & Katharina Knoll & Dmitry Kuvshinov & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2017. "The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015," Working Paper Series 2017-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, revised 20 Dec 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2017-25
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2017-25
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Del Negro, Marco & Giannone, Domenico & Giannoni, Marc P. & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2019. "Global trends in interest rates," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 248-262.
    4. Ricardo J. Caballero & Alp Simsek, 2017. "A Risk-centric Model of Demand Recessions and Speculation," NBER Working Papers 23614, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Strulik, Holger, 2019. "An economic theory of depression and its impact on health behavior and longevity," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 269-287.
    6. Simon Quemin & Raphael Trotignon, 2019. "Emissions trading with rolling horizons," Working Papers 1901, Chaire Economie du climat.
    7. Johannes Schuenemann & Holger Strulik & Timo Trimborn, 2020. "The Marriage Gap: Optimal Aging and Death in Partnerships," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 36, pages 158-176, April.
    8. Brand, Claus & Bielecki, Marcin & Penalver, Adrian, 2018. "The natural rate of interest: estimates, drivers, and challenges to monetary policy JEL Classification: E52, E43," Occasional Paper Series 217, European Central Bank.
    9. Blesse, Sebastian & Doerrenberg, Philipp & Rauch, Anna, 2019. "Higher taxes on less elastic goods? Evidence from German municipalities," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 165-186.
    10. Dmitry Kuvshinov & Kaspar Zimmermann, 2018. "The Big Bang: Stock Market Capitalization in the Long Run," Working Papers 0136, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "Monetary Policy, Price Stability, and Equilibrium Bond Yields: Success and Consequences : a speech at the High-Level Conference on Global Risk, Uncertainty, And Volatility, co-sponsored by the Bank fo," Speech 1102, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Hippolyte d'Albis & Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Amélie Schurich-Rey, 2018. "Taxing capital and labor when both factors are imperfectly mobile internationally," Working Papers halshs-01851492, HAL.
    13. Loukas Karabarbounis & Brent Neiman, 2019. "Accounting for Factorless Income," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(1), pages 167-228.
    14. Conchita D'Ambrosio & Giorgia Menta & Edward N. Wolff, 2019. "Income and Wealth Volatility: Evidence from Italy and the U.S. in the Past Two Decades," NBER Working Papers 26527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Mehdi el Herradi & Jakob de Haan & Aurélien Leroy, 2020. "Inflation and the Income Share of the Rich: Evidence for 12 OECD Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 8203, CESifo Group Munich.
    16. Giacomo Gabbuti, 2018. "Labour Shares and Income Inequality: Insights from Italian Economic History, 1895-2015," HHB Working Papers Series 13, The Historical Household Budgets Project.
    17. Dennis Bonam & Peter van Els & Jan Willem van den End & Leo de Haan & Irma Hindrayanto, 2018. "The natural rate of interest from a monetary and financial perspective," DNB Occasional Studies 1603, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    18. Josh Davis & Alan M. Taylor, 2019. "The Leverage Factor: Credit Cycles and Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 26435, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Gimet, Céline & Lagoarde-Segot, Thomas & Reyes-Ortiz, Luis, 2019. "Financialization and the macroeconomy. Theory and empirical evidence," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 89-110.
    20. Beshkar, Mostafa & Shourideh, Ali, 2020. "Optimal trade policy with trade imbalances," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 65-82.
    21. Rehme, Günther, 2018. "On "rusting" money: Silvio Gesell's Schwundgeld reconsidered," Darmstadt Discussion Papers in Economics 233, Darmstadt University of Technology, Department of Law and Economics.
    22. Òscar Jordà & Alan M. Taylor, 2019. "Riders on the Storm," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    23. Simon Quemin, 2020. "Using Supply-Side Policies to Raise Ambition: The Case of the EU ETS and the 2021 Review," Working Papers 2002, Chaire Economie du climat.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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